The Dental Design Studios

What Is Oral Cancer?

What Is Oral Cancer?

Oral cancer refers to cancer that develops in any part of the mouth including lips, tongue, cheeks, hard and soft palate, sinuses, and pharynx. It appears as a growth in the mouth that does not go away and is life-threatening if not diagnosed early. It is one of the several types of cancers that are much easier for doctors to treat if spotted early. 

The most common symptoms of mouth cancer include swellings, lumps, and rough spots on the lips, gums, cheek, or other areas inside the mouth. Unexplained bleeding in the mouth, loss of feeling, and difficulty in chewing or swallowing also indicate oral cancer. 

Oral cancer also shows symptoms like change in voice, dramatic weight loss, and swelling in the jaw. 

Causes and Risk Factors

Many factors can contribute to the development of oral cancer. One of the leading causes is tobacco use, including smoking cigarettes, cigars, and pipes, as well as chewing tobacco. Alcohol consumption is another significant risk factor for oral cancer, especially when combined with tobacco use. 

Human papillomavirus (HPV) infection has also been linked to an increased risk of developing oral cancer. Poor oral hygiene and a diet lacking in fruits and vegetables may further elevate the chances of developing this type of cancer.

Excessive sun exposure can increase the risk of lip cancer specifically. Genetics may play a role in predisposing some individuals to oral cancer, while age and gender can also impact susceptibility.

It's essential to be aware of these risk factors and take preventive measures such as maintaining good oral hygiene habits, avoiding tobacco and excessive alcohol consumption, protecting your lips from sun exposure, getting vaccinated against HPV if recommended by a healthcare provider, and eating a balanced diet rich in fruits and vegetables.

How Is Oral Cancer Diagnosed?

The dentist in Houston, TX, first conducts an oral cancer screening exam when the patient goes for a routine dental examination. They check the neck, face, head, and oral cavity and feel for any lumps or irregular tissue changes. They also check for any sores or discolored tissue while examining the mouth. The dentist in 77055 makes use of a biopsy to determine the composition of a suspicious-looking area. Contact us to learn more!

If the disease is found, surgery is performed, followed by radiation therapy and chemotherapy to destroy the cancer cells. 

How to Prevent Oral Cancer

Some health habits make a person more likely to get oral cancer. Therefore, it is essential to maintain a well-balanced diet along with good oral hygiene in Houston, TX, and eliminate smoking and the use of tobacco. Using tobacco paves way for dangerous cancer-causing chemicals as they expose the cells in the mouth. Also, chronic excessive alcohol drinking leads to mouth cancer as it can irritate the cells in the mouth. 

Repeated exposure to the sun heightens the threat of cancer on the lip. It is therefore wise to use sun-protective lotions on the skin, especially lips. Wear a hat that effectively shades the entire face of the person. Always stay in the shade when possible. 

A person can take an active role in detecting oral cancer by conducting a self-examination once a month. By making use of bright light and mirrors, check all the areas in the mouth, and back of the head. Visit the dentist in Houston, TX, if any changes are noticed. 

Schedule an appointment with The Dental Design Studios if you have any persistent signs that bother you for the last few days. For more information, visit our office at 8391 Westview Drive, Houston, TX 77055, or call (713) 468-5800.


8391 Westview Drive, Houston, TX 77055

Phone: (713) 468-5800

Office Hours

MON - TUE 9:00 am - 3:00 pm

WED - THU 8:00 am - 4:00 pm

FRI 8:00 am - 3:00 pm

SAT - SUN Closed

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Call or Text Us: (713) 468-5800